51Degrees reviews the Samsung browser popularity
Earlier this year Samsung released the Galaxy S8 and rebranded the UI on Samsung devices from TouchWiz to Grace UX. Samsung’s own web browser which had been pre-installed as part of TouchWiz since 2012, was decoupled and made available as a stand-alone app. Samsung Internet is based on Chromium and in the early years it was primitive in comparison to the dominant mobile browsers, i.e. Chrome mobile and Mobile Safari.
Samsung Internet Usage trends
The following chart shares Samsung Internet Usage across certain regions. It was only in late 2015 that Samsung Internet began to acquire momentum, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. Becoming so popular in these regions that its usage topped Mobile Safari. Perhaps in part due to Samsung devices being more widely available and affordable than Apple devices in these regions.
Samsung Internet Versus Other Android Browsers
When we compare all other Android browsers' usage from from a global perspective, Samsung Internet reached a peak between June and September 2016; and again between January and April 2017. What’s intriguing here is when Samsung Internet was performing well, Mobile Safari was declining and vice versa. Irrespective of this, Samsung Internet is still a long way off from being in direct competition with Mobile Safari outside of Africa and the Middle East.
In the latest version of Samsung Internet there are convenient and secure features such as bookmark sync with Google Chrome desktop, secure login, 360-degree video support, Samsung Pay and the ability to use third party plugins for content blocking. Other than Samsung devices, Google Nexus and Pixel devices running Android 5.0 or higher can also download the browser from Google’s Play store. Google’s Nexus and Pixel are already prominent devices within the market; Samsung might be testing the waters by laying down a sturdy foundation for expansion.
From the User-Agents utilising Samsung Internet, 51Degrees has identified that “SAMSUNG” is always present before the device ID token. For example, the User-Agent for Google Pixel running Android 7.1.2 and Samsung Internet 5.4 is as follows:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.1.2; SAMSUNG Pixel Build/NHG47K) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) SamsungBrowser/5.4 Chrome/51.0.2704.106 Mobile Safari/537.36
Although the browser is not officially supported for other android devices it can still be side-loaded. Here are a couple of examples of Samsung Internet 5.4 on two other android devices; the OnePlus 3T and HTC U11:
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.1.1; SAMSUNG ONEPLUS A3003 Build/NMF26F) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) SamsungBrowser/5.4 Chrome/51.0.2704.106 Mobile Safari/537.36
Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 7.1.1; SAMSUNG HTC U11 Build/NMF26X) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) SamsungBrowser/5.4 Chrome/51.0.2704.106 Mobile Safari/537.36
The latest news from the Samsung Internet Developers blog confirms that in their latest version, Samsung Internet beta v6.2, all Android 5.0+ (Lollipop+) phones will be able to download the Browser via the Play Store. It will be interesting to revisit our usage trend charts in 3 months time to see if Samsung internet popularty continues.
For more information you can visit Samsung’s developer page or download the app and try it for yourself.
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